Monday, March 30, 2009

Asians in art

Art. When have you seen beautiful art of women with dark hair? And where? I want to fill my home with pieces reflecting life, and my life has a dark-haired daughter. How do I show her how beautiful she is? The only Asian dolls I could find when she was a baby came out of a catalog, not a store. Catalog was created by adoptive parents raising Asian children. The Asian community had never sought out dolls that looked like their children, or if they had, had not protested the void. Why?

Silence. Don't make waves.

I see sumptuous baby pictures, so cute your heart melts, but the babies are always blonde. Why? I want the world of advertising and art filled with people who look like my daughter, not blonde, not sweet, but bold and daring. Wild and strong.

I want us to go through life making lots of noise, celebrating, crying, cheering, laughing, protesting what is not right, protecting what is. She takes me on walks along the riverfront and she insists we walk backwards. I'm just crazy enough to do it! Restaurant guests point and laugh, and we laugh right back and watch the river flowing a new direction, not away, not towards, but beside us. We notice what they'll never see because when they finish their meal they'll walk out like they always have and miss everything we noticed because we were walking backwards. And I paid less for this picture than for one of their meals. Shameful.

I want to see with new eyes.

I want you to see with new eyes.

See my daughter. Do you want to erase the Asian from her face before she dates your son, has your grandchildren? Or can you see her soul, her heart, and see what a lovely, loving woman she is becoming.

Can you see the future?

I can, and it's filled with women just like my daughter. Asian.

Asian in your eyes only. Love in mine.


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6 comments:

T. Anne said...

That was beautiful!

Eliza said...

I'm okay with your beautiful Asian daughter dating my handsome blond son. I would prefer to wait about fifteen years to meet my half-Asian grandchildren...

The First Carol said...

Oh, Eliza! I do remember you telling me you hoped your son would marry someone like Kai when we first met, which endeared you to me forever. My mission in writing the book is to break down the barrier that keeps Asian/Caucasian couples out of the media. I mean to change things, one book at a time.

Anita said...

I went to a booksigning for Jamie Ford, author of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, and he spoke about his parent's relationship...I think his dad was Chinese and his mother was from the southern US. I guess back when they met, it was a very unusual situation...maybe he has an interview somewhere about it...if I run across it, I'll let you know. Good stuff.

Eliza said...

I don't think our kids have any interest in each other at this point other than as friends. But I hope whomever he dates (and marries) is a smart, strong, talented woman (like Kai). I don't care what she looks like. Hell, I don't even care that his future partner is a woman--so long as he's as happy and fulfilled as he can be.

Eliza said...

That's how we roll in the Lane family.

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